Not long a ago this great documentary on distillation in Jalisco was released. It is really worth the watch if pre-hispanic distillation wet’s your pants! Support the agave community and download this one!
If you happen to be in Copenhagen right now, you happen to be in a very good place for Mezcal! Since 2012 when we got the first mezcal in to the country it has gone pretty fast. Unfortunately not the same for this blog. But a lot has happened the last few years. As this blog has been decreasing in activity, Scandinavian Agave Project (link below) has found it’s roots in Copenhagen. Recently we (The Barking Dog) opened a liquor store & tasting room(Shoppen), in the same area as the bar. This has become the head quarters for Scandinavian Agave Project. It also offers the most interesting selection of mezcal in Denmark. The tasting room is being used to spread the love for agave spirits, but more important than that to let people now what is going on in the world of agave right now. It is a very fragile business and it is important that we (preachers of mezcal) know who we are supporting and what they stand for. There is no reason not to support producers that think about the future of agave, and do something about it. With such a great demand for artisanal mezcal it is even more important that we know what our producers are up to, how do they treat waste from production? Are they replanting agaves for the future? And are they getting paid what they are supposed? If you do not have the possibility of visiting the producers themselves, at least demand to get all the information from your local mezcal dealer. We still have the power in he mezcal world, but how long will it be before major companies bring out the big guns?
Viva Mezcal! Salud!
It has been a long time since my last post, sorry about that, but this year started in high-speed. I have been busy with Copenhagen Cocktail Club and out latest project, Battle Of Scandinavia ( http://facebook.com/battleofscandinavia ). A competition for bartenders that are serious about their trade and are in the game to learn and get better. Let the best team win. No rest for the wicked some say, and after a long christmas and new years filled with agave in all it’s forms I can finally sit dow and take a couple of hours to write about something I have been looking at for a while. Agave as bio fuel. The more I read about this the more I learn, duh. But as with a lot of things some times it gets too much, and too much information is not always interesting. So I will keep this as long or short as I find interesting, if you would like to know more about it, I will happily point you in the right direction.
Agave can greatly contribute to the solution of mankind’s worst problems: global warming, overpopulation, hunger, poverty, lack and dependence of oil, stagnation of the economy. Enhanced Agave Tequilana Weber Cultivar, developed by Professor Remigio Madrigal Lugo at the University of Chapingo, is the ideal feedstock for a truly sustainable Bioeconomy. On an annual basis agave takes 6-10 years to harvest, it produces 3X more sugars than sugarcane (up to 42° Brix); 8X more cellulose (52 tonnes/hectare/year) than the fastest‐growing Eucalyptus and 4X more dry biomass (80 tonnes/hectare/year) than the GMO poplar tree designed in the USA for cellulosic ethanol production, hence fixing 4X more CO2. No other plant in the world has such potential!
“This is a scientific fact-they don’t require watering or fertilizing and they can absorb carbon dioxide during the night. The plants annually produce up to 500 metric tons (green) of biomass per hectare”, says agave expert Arturo Valez Jimenez.
But it is not only the Mexicans who find this very useful, due to the toughness of the agave plant it can grow pretty much anywhere it is warm enough. South Australian company Ausagave has for the past four years been working towards growing the robust plant for ethanol production in this country. ” More than 10,000 agave plants are sitting in pots and will be the subject of pilot plantings on the Atherton Tablelands and Burdekin region of Northern Queensland this year “, says Don Chambers from Ausagave.
Chambers points out that agave has a sugar content of 27 to 38 percent, compared to sugar cane’s content of 10 to 14 percent. Cane produces about 6000 l/ha/a from the sugar, while certain selections of agave in Mexico have produced up to 18,000 litres per hectare. “These figures far outshine the plants that are dominating ethanol and biofuels research, development and investment today – not only in terms of potential ethanol yield per hectare but also in terms of energy balance – the ratio of energy in the product to the energy input to produce it.”
There you go, once again Tequila will save the world. Salud!
With christmas just around the corner I made it my mission to introduce agave in as many ways possible to the christmas table, and first out is of course the Agave Snaps. It is very traditional to drink ice-cold Akvavit while enjoying a long christmas dinner with friends and family. One of the many reasons is because the food tend to be full of wonderful grease and this is an easy way to help the body dealing with it. Wether that is accurate or not doesn’t really matter, it is a reasonable excuse to drink. I made a somewhat traditional snaps that goes well with the food on the christmas table, but that of course, still has booth feet in Mexico. The result is kind of a Mexican twist on a Danish snaps called “Honning Syp” which is a lot of honey and a lot of Akvavit set to infuse for a few days. So it was very natural to make my base out of blanco Tequila and agave sirup. To inhence the flavour of the agave I added black pepper corns along with star anise and cloves for a more classic feel. I added lemon zest and coriander for a fresh mouth feel and a more Mexican touch and let it infuse until I find it satisfying enough. I am aiming for about 2 weeks which I think is fairly quick for a snaps, but I don’t want to bring out to many bitter flavours of the fresh herbs and citrus. I will let you know how it went after the christmas dinner on saturday. Until then, Salud!
2 Bottles of Viva Mexico Blanco
Zest of 4 lemons
A small hand full of black pepper corns
2 Star Anise
2 Bunches of fresh coriander
75ml Agave Sirup